Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Four Peirce Degrees Later – Donna Adkins Is Full of Peirce Pride

You have heard of one-time Peirce graduates, two-time Peirce graduates, and even three-time Peirce graduates; but have you ever heard of a four-time Peirce graduate? Now you have! Donna Adkins, class of 1981, 2015, 2017 and, most recently, 2019, shares her story as the final feature of the Graduate Summer Blog Series.

Turning back the clock to 1978, Donna originally heard of Peirce College as she searched for a place to go following high school. After attending a lecture at Peirce, she immediately knew this was where she wanted to be. “I went to visit Peirce for an event and during my visit, I felt at home. I immediately loved the feeling I got from those surrounding me and knew this was my place,” said Donna.

After earning her Associate in Science in Liberal Arts in 1981, Donna moved into the workforce where she found herself immersed in the non-clinical health industry for over 34 years. During this time, Donna became a mother and gained valuable work experience. As her children got older and her career was more developed, she discovered a newfound interest in medical coding and her desire to learn and do more. That is when Donna decided it was time to keep her dream alive and head back to school.

“I always had in the back of mind that I wanted to return to school. It’s always been a goal of mine to earn my doctorate. In 2013, I finally decided it was time and as soon as I heard Peirce College had an associate, bachelor’s and master’s program in the non-clinical health programs industry, I knew just where I would go.”

At 53 years old, Donna pursued her dreams and decided to start at the beginning again with an associate program. She earned her Associate in Science in Health Information Technology in 2015. Not stopping there, she continued right along and earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration in 2017.

Now a three-time Peirce graduate, Donna had a lot of credentials to her name, but she still had goals and dreams. Donna was ready to earn her master’s degree.

“I have 17- and 20-year old grandchildren who I wanted to inspire by earning my fourth degree. I wanted to show them we can do anything we put our minds to despite life’s obstacles. If I could do it at my age, they could it at theirs.”

Diving into this next degree, Donna was immediately captivated by the professors, students, and knowledge she was gaining inside the classroom. Working hard each day, Donna earned her Master of Science in Healthcare Administration in June 2019 with her Peirce experience coming full circle.

“When I got to graduation for my master’s degree, I realized how fulfilling it was to see my progression. During my first two Peirce graduations, I was in the back with my associate degrees. Then I moved up to the middle with my bachelor’s degree. Now, I was in the front row ready to earn my fourth Peirce degree.”

Donna said all of her degrees, especially her master’s, has allowed her to excel in her career. She currently works with undocumented patients in a pre-natal department and through her experiences in the classroom, she has learned valuable leadership skills to better assist them with the different scenarios she sees every day.

Beyond just her career, Donna is also using her master’s degree to assist with her final academic goal – earning her doctorate degree. Donna said, “I am now preparing to enroll in a doctorate program and I am truly sad it won’t be at Peirce. Luckily, I know on this next adventure, I can still count on all the Peirce professors, especially Professor D. Rembert to support me and provide me with the help I need to complete my goals.”

As Donna prepares for her next journey, she has advice for anyone thinking of going back to earn their first, second, third, or maybe even fourth degree. She said, “If earning a degree is something you want to do, do it. There are so many obstacles that will try to get in your way, but do not let them stop you. It is all possible, especially with Peirce, where they focus on working adults and flexibility. This is a goal you can complete!”

Congratulations to Donna on all of her degrees and best wishes as she moves on to reach her top goal of earning her doctorate.